Letters, Week of August 8, 2012


To the Editor:
For a number of years, I patronized a halal food stand located on Whitehall Street, just a few steps away from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. I would enjoy not only the food but the friendly banter of the nighttime vendor, a cheerful young man who lives close to my own residence on the northern tip of Staten Island.

But as of last Saturday, I will have to satisfy my food cravings elsewhere.

My wife and I were on our way home and decided to make a stop at the stand, where we always bought chicken gyros. We noticed a bald man shouting in Arabic to the ven- dor inside the cart. The vendor, who I have casually known for quite some time, did not talk back to the man, and when I asked who the person was, he ashamedly said it was his boss — the owner of the cart.

Said owner, who seems to be in his late 40s, made no attempt to stop his shouting in our presence. He gave me a dirty look after I asked about the screaming, which prompted me to remark that he wasn’t being a very good businessman by behaving like that in front of paying customers.

Next thing I know, the owner came from around the stand and started shouting expletives at me

because he was offended by what I had said. I raised my hand to ask him to quiet down, but my words were to no avail. He screamed, “Don’t touch me,” and continued to spout offending words in a machine gun-like manner.

As people started to intervene to break up a potential fistfight, I turned around and headed for the hotdog stand inside the terminal, enduring shouts of “mother*** er” as I walked away.

As a 12-year resident of New York, I have had my share of grumpy waiters and ticked-off restaurant workers, but I have never had so much verbal abuse hurled at me because of a simple remark. No mat- ter what that individual was going through on a personal level, noth- ing gives him the right to verbally assault a customer like he did that evening.

Someone told me that he might have been stressed out due to the day-long fast that Muslims follow during Ramadan. However, that is no excuse. I am really respectful of other peoples’ religions, but being observant does not give you the right to misbehave in public.

I believe this incident would be grounds to have his street vendor’s license revoked until he learns that you need to have simple manners in order to run a business that deals with people.
Ernest Barteldes


To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. 2031 plan wins key vote by Council committee” (news article, July 25):

Fifty percent is a compromise; eighty percent is a giveaway. Council Member Margaret Chin needs to do better than that. And if doing the right thing is so easy, why didn’t Council Member Rosie Mendez do it?

Somehow, Council Member Charles Barron managed to do the easy, right thing.

And what is the right thing for a city council member to do? According to the New York City Charter, the “Powers of the council” include the ability to adopt laws “for the order, protection and government of per- sons and property; for the preserva- tion of the public health, comfort, peace and prosperity of the city and its inhabitants…”

Approving a 20-year construction project in the middle of the super- blocks does not protect or preserve public health, peace or its inhabitants.

Chin, Quinn, Mendez and the whole City Council Land Use Committee — except for Council Member Barron — are very disappointing and have acted against their entrusted social responsibilities as elected representa- tives of the people.
A. S. Evans


To the Editor:
Re “Downtown Express is sold

to information technology execu- tive” (news article, Aug. 1 web issue):

Thanks to John Sutter for his years of successfully publishing these vital community papers. Best wishes to Jennifer Goodstein as she steers NYC Community Media for the next generation — so quintessentially “New York”!
Kimberly Donahue


To the Editor:
Re “Downtown Express is sold

to information technology execu- tive” (news article, Aug. 1 web issue):

John Sutter has done a stellar job leading a phenomenal team of journalists who so thoroughly, fairly and brilliantly have covered our neighborhoods.

You will be missed, John — but you leave behind a talented, award-winning team.

Good luck in pursuing new adventures, and we will see you in the neighborhood.
Corey Johnson

Spread the word:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

7 + = eight